The Effects Of Uv Radiation On The Environment Essay

The Effects Of Uv Radiation On The Environment Essay

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Summary of Issue: The ozone layer in the atmosphere, made up of oxygen atoms, absorbs damaging ultraviolet radiation (UV-B) from reaching the earth’s surface. Over the past 50 years, the ozone has been significantly depleted by chemicals released into the atmosphere like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Scientists and researchers have discovered a hole over the Antarctic and some mid-altitude regions over Chile in South America. They believe that species on earth will have to change their UV-B composition in order to survive thus affecting biodiversity. Increased contact to UV-B radiation may have a serious effect on terrestrial plant life, although the impacts are often poorly understood. Impacts of UV radiation varies widely from one organism to the next, but, in general, UV radiation has been shown to affect plant growth by reducing leaf size and limiting the area available for energy capture during photosynthesis. Plant life is stunted, therefore affecting species that rely on it. The question of the effect that a depleting ozone on biodiversity is a complicated question that depends on many different variables, such as varying degrees of susceptibility among different species, and most of these variables are not yet completely understood.
Relation to BI213: Ecosystems and populations are a major topic in BI213. Without the ozone layer, life would not have existed on land. Also, species adaptation and biodiversity are often talked about when looking at factors that damage ecosystems. More UV-B rays penetrating earth’s atmosphere could potentially mean that some species will survive better in the new conditions than others. When other species are wiped out, it will most likely have an effect on the entire ecosystem, and that could...

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...rchers still need to improve their understanding of the diverse Earth environment and its responses to that radiation. This source brings the complexity of the subject, but does not accompany as many concrete facts with those claims. It is a good article in understanding how some people can be skeptical of the depleting ozone layer’s impact on biodiversity.
Usefulness for presentation: This article will be useful in attempting to build a counter argument for our presentation. It shows how even though there has been research indicating the harmful impact of UVB rays, it is difficult to say that the depletion of the ozone layer is affecting the biodiversity as a whole. It will help in attempting to explain why this subject is intricate, and how it is difficult to find convincing evidence of the detrimental effects of the depletion of the ozone layer on biodiversity.

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